El Sawyer

Philadelphia

El Sawyer is creating and disseminating curricula for agencies that serve the inmate and ex-offender population to accompany screenings of his 2013 film Pull of Gravity, which highlights the struggle of re-entry for men returning home from prison.


Bio: El Sawyer is a filmmaker and activist. At 17 years old, he was sentenced to a maximum-security prison for a drug-related shooting, and was released after serving 8 years. During his incarceration, El learned film production. After his release, he co-founded Media in Neighborhoods Group (MING), to produce media that explores the challenges of underserved sections of society, while bringing awareness and advocating for solutions. El has received numerous awards for his work in film, and President Barack Obama invited him to provide insight to inform the President’s legislation on criminal justice reform. Pull of Gravity has been screened nationally. Currently, El is working on a training manual to amplify the film’s impact on issues of mass incarceration and reentry.

Photo: Jon Kaufman, MING, LLC co-director